“Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man.” (James 1:13)
God is holy. He has never sinned, and He never will. He is perfect. In fact, there is no sin in heaven. God will not allow sin into heaven. Because He is holy He wants us to be holy, too.
This verse teaches us one main truth: God does not tempt us to sin. This verse says it pretty clearly: “neither tempteth he any man.” God doesn’t tempt anyone to sin. One man said, “God sends hardship in our lives to make us better not worse.” God doesn’t send a temptation into our life, but He sends trials to make us be more like Jesus.
Let’s say you get really sick. You have to go to the hospital and get some bad news from the doctor that you are going to be sick for a while. So you have to take medicine, and maybe you are told to lie in the bed for a whole month. Where did that illness come from? The Lord allowed that to happen. Did He do that as a way to make you mad or upset enough to sin? No! God has nothing to do with sin. Then why does He give you hard things to go through?
The Bible says it is so that you can be more like Jesus. Jesus suffered common temptations that we all face. But He never sinned when He faced them. He responded to situations with the right attitude, and He took hard things as from His Father’s hand. God sends trials (hard things) into believers’ lives to sanctify them (make them more like Jesus, more holy). Maybe God wants you to work on your attitude. When you get better, maybe you have learned to have a better attitude. God sent a trial in your life to make you better.
But where does temptation to sin come from? God does not tempt me, that is for sure. He never wants to see me sin, and He would never help me to sin. He wants me to be holy.
There are three areas that temptation to sin comes from: the world, the flesh, and the devil. If you are in a store, and your stomach is growling, and no one seems to be looking at that candy bar shelf, and you are tempted to grab a candy bar–well, then, that candy bar is being used by the world, by your own flesh, and by the devil to draw you in to sin. If you are watching TV and they show you a movie that has things in it that are displeasing to God, then that movie is being used by the world, by your own flesh, and by the devil to tempt you to sin. Candy bars and movies do not have to be wicked in and of themselves. But we can sin with anything! When we are tempted to use anything as a way of filling up our own ungodly desires, rather than as a way to glorify God and live out our love for Him, then we are sinning.
Remember, God does not provoke you to sin, or tease you with sin. He does not want to see you fall. One thing we can pray for when we talk to the Lord is that He will keep us away from temptation. He wants to help us turn away from temptation and say “no” when we find ourselves wanting to sin. Jesus told His disciples in Matthew 6:13 to pray, “lead us not into temptation.” God can keep us from situations in which we will be tempted. When we are tempted to sin, we can count on Him to help us get out of a hard situation in a way that will make us more holy and more like Jesus.
God does not sin or cause sin.
» Do I sometimes doubt the goodness and holiness of God?
» Can God be tempted with evil or tempt me with evil?
» Did you pray today and ask God to keep you from situations that would tempt you today?